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Reasons to Be Self-Employed

Reasons to be self-employed add up to 55! Taken by a poll of its readers, this list of reasons to be self-employed is the most thought out I have seen.  It was written by By: Jennifer Good for The Self-Employed Website.

Being self-employed is one of the truest forms of freedom. In fact, when we polled TSE readers, flexibility and freedom were the number one responses as to why they loved being self-employed. While those reasons are often the tipping point for becoming “jobless,” there are indeed many other benefits to working for yourself.

reasons to be self employed

To celebrate the lifestyle of the entrepreneur, here is a list of our favorite reasons it’s better to employ yourself:

  1. Set your own hours.
  2. You are your own boss.
  3. Opportunity to make unlimited income.
  4. Can work from home.
  5. Can work literally anywhere.
  6. Are able to put family priorities first.
  7. You get the value that you create for yourself.
  8. You don’t just work for a paycheck.
  9. No office or corporate politics to deal with.
  10. Able to do something you are passionate about.
  11. Great tax benefits.
  12. Can work in your pajamas if you want to.
  13. No more dealing with traffic if you don’t want to.
  14. Take vacation or sick time whenever you need to.
  15. In today’s economy, being self-employed can have more job security than a traditional job.
  16. True control of your finances.
  17. You are able to do work you find truly rewarding.
  18. Learn more about yourself than any other “job” experience might offer.
  19. True flexibility in everything you do.
  20. Opportunity to surround yourself with people who you like to work with.
  21. More opportunities to spend time on perfecting your skills.
  22. Work doesn’t feel like work.
  23. Spend a few years working your butt off to reap rewards other people only dream of.
  24. Every day can feel like an adventure.
  25. You will get along with everyone in your office.
  26. Only you need to believe in yourself. You don’t have to sell your ideas or vision to higher-ups.
  27. Solopreneurs – You’ll always be employee of the month!
  28. You can set up your office however you want.
  29. Limit the amount of time you spend trading dollars for hours.
  30. Get paid while you’re sleeping with passive income opportunities.
  31. Gaining real world experience that will help your business versus limited job-only experience.
  32. Having a job can be more risky than being self-employed.
  33. You can fire your clients or customers if you don’t like them.
  34. You are not limited to the money you earn each paycheck.
  35. You are more likely to hang out with other entrepreneurs to help fuel the idea fire.
  36. Every day is like a new challenge – a chance to grow as a person.
  37. You can do something you’ve always dreamed about doing.
  38. You will be able to spend more quality time with your family.
  39. You can take control of your own personal and career development.
  40. You could become a thought leader for your niche.
  41. The more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it.
  42. You will be able to create a feeling of pride around your business and your accomplishments.
  43. You can earn as little or as much as you want.
  44. You will have more freedom to work, play or rest when you want to.
  45. You will have ultimate control over what projects you work on.
  46. Being self-employed is the ultimate DIY project.
  47. Have true control of your future.
  48. Can create multiple revenue streams.
  49. Your daily work can be as varied as you desire.
  50. You earn your income everyday.
  51. You can be yourself.
  52. Busy times are something you look forward to when you’re self-employed.
  53. Get to meet new people that you might not have in a typical job environment.
  54. You work to create results, not to impress people.
  55. You are 100% in control.

Weigh In: What’s your favorite reason for being self-employed?

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AIA/NCARB Survey Shows Rosier Picture for Emerging Professionals

More interns are employed and getting licensed than during the throes of the recession. Read article http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB098254

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Architecture jobs start to bounce back

Online job ads for architects up 20% over year

arch model 4 Online job advertisements for architects rose 20 percent during the last 90 days compared to the same time period in 2012, according to Wanted Analytics, a firm that tracks online job ads. There were a total of more than 16,000 architect jobs advertised in the past 90 days.

New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Houston topped the list of metropolitan areas with the most job ads for architects.

“Autodesk AutoCAD” was the most commonly required skill in architect jobs. In the past 90 days, 5,500 jobs required CAD skills, representing about 35 percent of all hiring demand.

The most commonly required skills in architecture jobs include:

Autodesk REVIT Architecture

Oral and written communication skills

Detail oriented

Self-starting/self-motivated

Project management

Organizational skills

Bentley MicroStation

Microsoft Office

Adobe Photoshop

Watch a new CCTV America video from the AIA.org website that highlights 7 consecutive months of gains in the industry

Temporary hiring takes center stage

U.S. temporary employment jumped by 20,300 jobs in March, compared with the previous month, and the year-over-year growth rate ticked up, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the number of temp jobs added in February was revised upward by 22,000 jobs.

Year-over-year growth in temp jobs had been decelerating since November. However, the number of temp jobs rose by 6.4 percent year over year in March, up from the 5.3 percent increase in February.

Further, the U.S. temp penetration rate rose to 1.94 percent in March from 1.93 percent in February.

However, the U.S. added fewer jobs overall in March than February. Total non-farm employment rose by 88,000 jobs in March compared with an increase of 218,000 in February –  Sending a clear signal that firms are exercising caution, temporary hires outpaced permanent hires for the same period.

The U.S. unemployment rate still fell to 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was unchanged from February at 3.8 percent.

In other industries, construction added 18,000 jobs in March. The BLS reported construction has added 169,000 jobs since September.

Click on the chart below to enlarge.

temp_growth_130405_overlay_large

Click on the chart below to enlarge.

temp_numbers_130405_overlay_large
This post is a composite of articles from Staffing Industry Analysts and AIA.org websites

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These Days, Recruiters Are Worth the Money

When it comes to sourcing the right interview candidates, I’ve never been keen to use recruiters. But I recently changed my mind.

interviewpan_20966

My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it.

But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even get the screening process started.

Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates–I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential applicants–it always takes me a long time to find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.

I’ve tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like Monster.com, to smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to local university boards where I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months to find the right kind of hire in the past. So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the new year, I was not optimistic.

For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. They’re also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening would cost me nothing.

The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring process, and by my calculations, when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only charge me if she found someone I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire–all in a month. The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, she said “because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion.”

If most people these days are thinking like my new hire, the recruiters will clearly have the best selection of candidates every time. Looks like I’ve got an essential new hiring strategy.

Vanessa Merit Nornberg: In 2004, Vanessa opened Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company that sells to more than 5,000 specialty shops and retail chains in 23 countries. Metal Mafia was an Inc. 500 company in 2009. @vanessanornberg

architect, architecture, architecture jobs, construction, Consulting For Architects, David McFadden, Design, Freelancer tips, Hiring trends, Interior design, jobs, recession, unemployed architects | , , , , , | 1 Comment

When the East Outsources to the West

By connecting the dots in the media, markets, nations, books etc. one can generate ideas and spot trends. Today I shall connect dots from various sectors e.g. nations, projects, architects etc. with the purpose of doing news analysis and spotting the hot zones in the current market for architects. The analysis would be of the times when the East outsourced architects of the West. With this as the backdrop, here is my first article for this blog.

In the book titled ‘The Elephant and the Dragon’ by Robyn Meredith, Nandan Nilekani has said that “People should look at careers which cannot be delivered over a wire. If someone is a cardiac surgeon, they are not going to be displaced. But if they are a radiologist, somebody from Bangalore is liable to check X-rays over a wire.”  The moral being that jobs which will always stay in America are the one’s which are land and people bound.

Architecture is definitely land and people bound, for it is dictated by location, climate, context, local materials and the culture of the society. But given the state of technology in architecture, drawings, building models etc. can also be delivered over a wire. So it will be interesting to analyze the ramifications of the pull and push caused by these two forces, in the architectural profession. Interestingly many times the East has outsourced to the architects in the West. As a seer of this situation, I have compiled a list of circumstances under which this takes place. They are as follows:

1. When new nations are born or old become independent.

The political leaders of the above mentioned nations look for experienced minds to lead the way e.g. when India gained independence, her Prime Minister Pt. Nehru commissioned:

  • The British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens to plan the city of New Delhi and
  • The French architect Le Corbusier to plan the city of Chandigarh.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

2. When fresh and innovative ideas are needed from foreign minds.

Here are a few examples of these:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 3. When an architect is chosen as a winner in a competition e.g.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. When architects who specialize in a certain scale and type of projects are needed.

These are usually projects that are of national importance, have huge budget with funding by the government or a private client for whom budget is not a problem.  Here are a few examples of these:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

5. When new found capitalism creates a booming economy.

With the growth of communist capitalism in China (from 1978) and democratic capitalism in India (from 1991), there has been tremendous growth in both the nations. Now that enough time has elapsed since its initiation, prosperity is trickling into the private sector as well. Hence clients in the private sector can afford the best that money can buy. Here is an article from NYT that cites many examples of private companies and people who have commissioned smaller American companies to design their projects. This is great news as it is bringing in much needed jobs in America.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

It is interesting to note that when the West outsources to the East (in non-architectural sectors), it is done to reduce cost and it is usually done for low-level jobs. But when the East outsources to the West (in the field of Architecture) it is for jobs that require special expertise, innovation, creativity. These are usually high-level jobs where budget is not an issue.

With all this happening in the world, it would be right to predict that:

  • There would be many architectural firms from the West that would collaborate with the East, to meet the new demands of the market.
  • Many local companies in the West will grow into multi-nationals, to work on projects in the East.
  • The demand for architects who are multi-cultural and speak other languages besides English will grow. They will be the key links between East and West. They will enrich the profession with their unique understanding of both the worlds.
  • There would be major synergy of ideas between East and West.

To explain this better, I cannot help but think about two movies that would not have been what they are but for the hand of the West in them. Imagine Slumdog Millionaire (set in India) without Danny Boyle or Kung Fu Panda (set in China) without Hollywood. I don’t mean to belittle anyone but what I am trying to say is that the synergy between East and West can sure create miracles. Be it any field, Architecture and movies are just two examples. In conclusion, in order to fit better into the global economy, the architects from the West may even have to reinvent themselves. We sure are living in interesting times!

Ratna Dalal

Architect | Author | Artist | Blogger

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There are no foreign lands, only foreigners.

– Mark Twain

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NYT: Architecture Down…My Response..but not out


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Last month, the New York Times published an article discussing how while college is a great investment, a major in Architecture is not one.  Because the unemployment rates for architecture graduates were the highest, that was the major to make the enemy.  Let us forget the fact that the return on investment is not only higher than majors such as anthropology and archaeology whose median was $28,000 as well as the fact that journalism was not very far behind on unemployment numbers.  Architecture is the enemy.

My response to this is two-fold: For one, it is a horrid recession for all majors as well as all graduates. Personally, I met a woman with two Masters in Government who has had to start her own freelance writing business to get food on her table.  This is not the time to point fingers at anything, let alone educational factors.  Secondly, like every major a person chooses, they must be passionate about it and ready to work in any avenue to survive. I see many majors today in the same boat as struggling actors, taking acting classes during the day and trudging through  auditions…but one day find their break. Like every art-related career path like architecture, this is the life we chose.  Statistics don’t make passion, people do.

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City Council committee backs NYU expansion

A New York City Council committee has approved a modified version of a plan  to add four new buildings to New York University in Greenwich Village.

The Land Use Committee voted 19-1 Tuesday in favor of a  1.9-million-square-foot expansion plan.

The proposal was reduced about 20 percent since it was presented to a public  hearing on June 29.

NYU Senior Vice President Lynne Brown said the plan will help New York City  remain economically vibrant.

Council member Margaret Chin, who represents the district, said NYU made  significant concessions in its modified proposal.

But Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Preservation Society called the  downsizing a drop in the bucket.

The full City Council vote is expected on July 25.

Via NY Post

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US home sales unexpectedly drop 1.6%

The pace of purchased new homes fell to a 313,000 annual pace, the slowest since  October. Though an analyst says there are signs of life in some regions, “we’re  not seeing a broad-based recovery.”

(Bloomberg) – Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly fell  in February for a second month, a sign the recovery in the housing market may be  uneven.

Sales dropped 1.6% to a 313,000 annual pace, the slowest since October, from  a 318,000 rate in January that was weaker than previously reported, figures from  the Commerce Department showed Friday in Washington. The median estimate of 78  economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 325,000.

Sales of new homes are struggling to gain momentum amid increasing  competition from foreclosures, which are hurting all property values.  Nonetheless, a pickup in hiring, growing incomes and mortgage rates near a  record low are making all houses more affordable, which may help underpin the  market.

“There are signs of life in the market in certain regions, but we’re not  seeing a broad-based recovery,” said Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at  Bank of America Corp. in New York, who forecast a 310,000 sales pace. “Builders  are still competing with existing inventories. The spring selling season should  show some modest improvement, but it will be limited.”

Economists’ estimates ranged from 310,000 to 350,000. The rate for January  was previously reported at 321,000.

The recent slowdown in demand has pushed up the amount of time it takes to  sell a new house. There were 150,000 new houses on the market at the end of  February, matching the prior month’s record low. The supply of homes at the  current sales rate climbed to 5.8 months’ worth from 5.7 months in January.

Purchases, tabulated when contracts are signed, fell in two of the four U.S.  regions, led by a 7.2% drop in the South. Sales fell 2.4% in the Midwest and  rose 14% in the Northeast and 8% in the West.

The regional breakdown affected prices as demand fell in the South and  Midwest where homes are less expensive and rose in the Northeast and West where  they are costlier.

The median sales price increased 6.2% in February from the same month last  year to $233,700, Friday’s report showed.

New-home sales have lost their ability to forecast the broader market as  demand shifts to previously owned houses. Purchases of existing homes are  calculated when a deal closes about a month or two later. New properties made up  almost 7% of the market last year, down from a high of 15% during the last  decade’s housing boom.

Existing-home purchases eased to a 4.59 million annual rate last month from a  4.63 million pace in January, the National Association of Realtors reported this  week. Even with the decline, January and February sales marked the strongest  start to a year since 2007.

Home foreclosures remain a concern for builders. Filings fell 8% in February,  the smallest year-over-year decrease since October 2010, as lenders began  working through a backlog of seized properties, RealtyTrac Inc. said last week.

“February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide,” Brandon  Moore, RealtyTrac’s CEO, said in the statement. “That should result in more  states posting annual increases in the coming months.”

To hold down borrowing costs like mortgage rates, Federal Reserve policy  makers last week said they will continue to swap $400 billion in short-term  securities with long-term debt to lengthen the average maturity of the central  bank’s holdings, a move dubbed Operation Twist.

The National Association of Realtors’s affordability index climbed to a  record high in January, underpinning demand. That may be why builders are  gaining confidence.

Builders this year have broken ground on homes at the fastest pace since  October to November 2008, according to Commerce Department figures released this  week. Permits for construction climbed to the highest level since 2008, the same  report showed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder  confidence in March held at the highest level since June 2007. Sales  expectations climbed for a sixth month, according to the March 19 report.

Ryland Group Inc., which builds homes with an average price of $255,000 in 13  states, said it has a positive outlook for 2012.

“We finished the year on a strong note, entered the year optimistic and still  feel fairly optimistic today,” Larry Nicholson, president and CEO at the  Westlake Village, Calif.-based company, said March 6 at an investor conference. “The good thing about the traffic we are seeing is it’s new traffic. We feel a  lot better than we did a year ago. Hopefully, we can keep this trend up.”

‘Like’ CFA’s Facebook page for job openings for architects and interior designers

Check out CFA Founder/CEO David McFadden’s about.me profile!

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Silverstein to call a halt at 3 WTC

Unable to line up tenants, developer to cap his second Trade Center tower at seventh floor.

Developer Larry Silverstein is planning to halt construction by the end of the year on the second of the two towers he is currently building at the World Trade Center site if he can’t find a major office tenant, sources close to the company said.

Minor modifications have already been made to the ongoing construction of the tower that will allow it to be capped at the seventh floor—73 short of its planned height. Retail tenants would be sought for the seven-story podium.

If Mr. Silverstein finds a tenant before the tower is capped, he can go ahead and complete what will be known as 3 World Trade Center, although there might be some delays, depending on when the deal is struck. The building was slated to be completed in 2015.

Mr. Silverstein is not currently close to signing a tenant, sources said. The building’s cap can be removed and construction can resume after he finds one. Mr. Silverstein’s spokesman declined to comment.

The move to cap the tower stems from a 2010 agreement between the developer and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the site’s owner, to end a long-running feud. Under the deal, Mr. Silverstein has to pre-lease 400,000 square feet in his second tower, line up $300 million of private equity and secure private construction financing in order to qualify for debt guarantees from the Port, the city and the state.

But amid financial tumult in Europe, a weak U.S. economy and a cooling in the city’s office-leasing environment, Mr. Silverstein has been unable to attract a tenant. Experts say his near-term prospects are dim.

“The willingness of large-scale tenants to commit in this environment is limited because companies don’t want to go out and spend a lot of money,” said Peter Hennessy, president of Cassidy Turley’s New York Tristate Region. “It’s not the building; it’s the market.”

Cheaper to stay put

Despite a host of government incentives to lure firms to lower Manhattan, Mr. Hennessy estimates that a 400,000-square-foot tenant would need to spend about $100 million just to outfit an office. Faced with those kinds of costs in a lackluster economy, Mr. Hennessy said, it’s likely that more companies might opt to renew their current leases.

Morgan Stanley, for example, has been searching for months for between 1 million and 1.4 million square feet. Now, sources said, the bank is very close to renewing its lease at 1 New York Plaza and taking some additional space there, which would be a much more cost-effective option.

While other big companies—including Time Warner, News Corp. and Credit Suisse—continue to prowl the market for huge digs, their ranks are thinning. Last year, the number of tenants seeking more than 100,000 square feet tumbled 23%, from 74 to 57, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

To land tenants, Mr. Silverstein faces competition from both existing buildings and other planned state-of-the-art towers. Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group are seeking tenants for their massive project at the Hudson Yards west of Penn Station, while Brookfield Office Properties wants to lure firms to the 7.4 million-square-foot complex it plans in the same neighborhood. In addition, by the end of next year, as several large tenants move out, Brookfield will have 2.8 million square feet of space available at its World Financial Center—37% of its total—across West Street from Mr. Silverstein’s towers.

Seeing is believing

Sources say Mr. Silverstein’s tower has an advantage over other planned projects for now: Tenants can actually see the start of the building and visit the World Trade Center site. In contrast, except for one building, Related has to build a huge platform over the rail yards before it can start construction, as does Brookfield. That requires tenants with the imagination to envision the finished product and the confidence to take a chance that the neighborhood can be successfully transformed into a premier office market.

In addition, all three landlords are seeking tenants at a time when they are getting more skittish. While overall activity rose 16% last year, the amount of space leased in the second half of the year fell by 31% from the first half of 2011, and was down nearly 10% from the corresponding period in 2010.

Of course, large deals get done even during choppy times. Two months ago, luxury leather-goods maker Coach agreed to be the anchor tenant for a new tower at Hudson Yards. And just last week, publishing giant Condé Nast exercised its option to lease an additional 133,000 square feet at 1 World Trade Center. That will bring the publisher’s total to 1.19 million square feet in that building, which is being developed by the Port Authority and the Durst Organization.

But sources said the Condé Nast deal was heavily subsidized by the Port because it wanted a strong anchor tenant to establish 1 World Trade Center as a premier corporate location. For example, the Port has agreed to assume the last four or five years of Condé Nast’s lease at its current headquarters at 4 Times Square.

Mr. Silverstein has the right to build three office buildings on the World Trade Center site. The first, 4 WTC, is a 72-story building that is due to be completed next year. About 60% of it is leased. Below-ground infrastructure work is being done on the third tower that is expected to end soon, but the building is on hold indefinitely.

David Goldstein, an executive vice president at Studley, said it’s possible that Mr. Silverstein may find a tenant as firms seek to take advantage of the current environment.

“There are lots of opportunities in this market,” said Mr. Goldstein. “And I wouldn’t count Larry out.”

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Full-Time Employment Barely Up Since Recession Ended

Did you know that seasonally adjusted full-time employment in September 2011 was lower than it was when the recession officially ended in June 2009, and that this was the case for 26 of the first 27 post-recession months? What’s more, the economy had over 8.7 million fewer full-time workers in November 2011 than it did when full-time employment peaked four years earlier in November 2007.

Full-time employment finally surpassed the June 2009 level for two consecutive months in October and November. Hopefully it will keep going up, but the economic policy barriers to continued improvement are quite substantial.

For those who are wondering, during the first 29 months after November 1982, the official end of the Reagan-era recession according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, full-time employment increased by almost 8 million:

Currently, the economy has 417,000 more full-time workers than it did when the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Readers will also see that the increases in the number of full-timers continued to climb after that. By the end of 1986, over 11 million more Americans (almost 14%) were working full-time than were doing so at the end of that era’s recession.

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